Sports - Hooks

Dec 9, 2013 4:22 PM by

Nolan Ryan to Speak at South Texas Winter Banquet

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Hooks' 10th season is just 114 days away.

January's South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet and Astros Caravan Luncheon annually signal the start of baseball season in the Coastal Bend.

The 2014 edition of the banquet, set for Wednesday, January 29, at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center, celebrates the milestone with a native South Texan who's made his mark as a Lone Star legend.

Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan headlines next month's South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet, presented by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and ClearChannel Media + Entertainment. Also returning that night as master of ceremonies: original Hooks play-by-play voice Matt Hicks, who now calls games for the Texas Rangers.

Tickets are on sale at the Whataburger Field Box Office. To order by phone, call 361-561-HOOK (4665).

Details on the January 24 luncheon, also scheduled for the Ortiz Center, will be released at a later date.

"Getting Nolan here for the 10th banquet was a huge priority for us," Hooks president Ken Schrom said Monday from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando. "We are delighted and excited to have him on the program. I can't think of a better way to herald our celebration of the 10th season of Hooks Baseball."

Baseball's all-time strikeout (5,714) and no-hit (7) king, Ryan is a principal owner of Ryan-Sanders Baseball. Ryan-Sanders Baseball owns the Triple-A Round Rock Express, Ryan-Sanders Entertainment and Ryan-Sanders Sports Services. On October 1, Ryan-Sanders Baseball sold the Double-A Hooks to parent club Houston. Nolan's oldest son, Reid, founded the Express (2000) and Hooks (2005) and is now president of the Astros.

On November 1, Nolan completed a six-season run as president and CEO of the Rangers. Under his leadership, Texas captured consecutive American League pennants in 2010-11 and topped 3 million in attendance for the first time (2012).

In 2010, he became the first Hall of Fame player to reach postseason play as team president or general manager since Stan Musial of the 1967 Cardinals. Nolan was also the first to work as president of a World Series participant after playing in a World Series (1969 Mets) since Al Rosen, who played on Cleveland's 1948 and 1954 World Series clubs and was president/GM of the 1989 Giants.

In addition, Nolan was the third Hall of Fame player to serve as president of a major league franchise, joining John Montgomery Ward (1912) and Christy Mathewson (1923 and 1925), both of the Boston Braves, and the first to serve a World Series team.

Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility, Nolan was inducted in 1999 on 98.79 percent of the ballots, the second-highest mark ever. He is the only player to have his uniform number retired by three different clubs: the Angels (30), Astros and Rangers (34).

Since his retirement as a player in 1993, Nolan has served the Rangers and Astros as special assistant while managing a wide range of business interests. He compiled a 324-292 record and 3.19 earned run average in 807 appearances over an unprecedented 27 seasons with the Mets (1966; 1968-71), Angels (1972-79), Astros (1980-88) and Rangers (1989-93).

Nolan has owned or shared 53 major league records. He's fifth in innings pitched (5,387), tied for seventh in shutouts (61) and 13th in victories. His 773 starts are second only to Cy Young's 815. An eight-time All-Star, Nolan threw 12 one-hitters, tying Bob Feller's standard. Nolan also holds two of the top four single-season strikeout totals in history, including an all-time best of 383 in 1973.

He fanned 10 or more batters a record 215 times.

Born in Refugio on January 31, 1947, Nolan's family moved to Alvin when he was six weeks old. He remained an Alvin resident until 2003. Nolan and wife Ruth, who've been married for 46 years, now live in Georgetown. They are the parents of Reid (42), Reese (37) and Wendy and have seven grandchildren. Reese is owner/CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball.


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